Gail’s Pumpkin Patch opens with
great expectations of another wonderful year for visitors
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[September 02, 2017]
was a clear, cool, breezy day with bright sunshine and lofty clouds.
If felt like fall, and at Gail’s Pumpkin Patch in rural Beason, it
looked like fall. The patch officially opened at noon on Friday and
will be open daily from now until October 31st.
This year the seasonal agri-tourist attraction has many of the same
things that visitors have grown to love, and also a few new
Owners Gail and Dave Sasse are excited about the season ahead. It
has been a very good year for pumpkins according to Dave, so there
is an abundant crop in the patch. Gail noted that the patch this
year is an expansive eight acres, the largest patch they have ever
had, and Dave added there are about 60 varieties in the field,
including a few new ones.
Gail talked about one new variety, a pumpkin that is a little more
elongated, taller than it is large around. She said that folks have
said they wanted pumpkins that are taller for particular carving
designs they want to work on, so Gail’s have done what they can to
The larger field this year may be due in part to a new planting
method the couple tried out this year, and found it worked quite
well. Using a four-row planter typical for planting corn and
soybeans, the fields were planted using a special “pumpkin plate,”
and by ‘plugging” every other row. That made for a two row planter
to cover an eight acre field. David said it was a lot quicker than
their old method that included manually dropping seeds one-at-a-time
into the seeder as they went through the field.
The patch this year has been moved a bit, and is not readily visible
from the blacktop road that runs past the retail building and family
farm. But it is still within easy walking distance for those who
want to go to the patch and select their own pumpkin.
In addition to the pumpkins and gourds raised at the farm, the
ornamental corn has been harvested, gathered into nice bundles, tied
with twine and is ready for sale.
Once again, the popcorn wagon will be up and running. The wagon will
provide a ride to the popcorn field where shoppers can do their own
picking. Or, there is already picked popcorn on sale at the retail
The retail location will also offer mums from Mariah’s Mums near
Clinton, and many food offerings.
The apples sold at the patch are grown on the Sasse farm. Sasse’s
honey is harvested from another nearby family farm. In addition to
the apple and pumpkin donuts and other sweets, there are large bags
of kettle corn, and apple cider slushies, apple or pumpkin sippers,
and Carmel Apple Sundaes for sale.
Some items are not produced at the farm, but are local or Illinois
products. From nearby, the Lincoln’s Secret Sauce is the special
recipe mustard based barbecue sauce created and marketed by Kevin
Bateman. There’s also a selection of Nuthatch Hill BBQ meat rubs for
sale at the patch.
Dave Sasse explained that the cider is not made locally, but it is
an Illinois product, coming from an orchard and cider mill in
Effingham. The retail store continues to also offer apple butter,
pumpkin butter, jams and preservers that are Amish made products,
purchased from Illinois Amish communities.
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While the cider is from another location, the apples
on sale are grown at Sasse’s. Dave said his mom is the apple minder.
He gathers the apples and brings them to the washer, then his mom
checks them and bags them up for sale in the store. Gail said they
have great eating varieties, so be sure to check them out.
For children coming to the patch on return visits,
they can expect to find all their favorite things. The ‘pumpkin’
checkers and tic-tac-toe are set up and ready to go, the barrel
train is set up and waiting for riders. And one of the newer
activities, a trike course, is ready; trikes are waiting patiently
for riders. The black pipe maze is set up, as is the wooden steer
for lasso practice.
The animals are also ready for company. Brownie the
rabbit is set up in a cool shady spot. The goat tower is occupied
with two cut goats. There is a beautiful rooster and hen; and this
year, more kittens than ever!
Expect to be greeted by Pumpkin, the orange and white fully grown
cat, but then be sure to look for the all black kitty that likes to
lurk about on the retail shelves. Outside, watch out for the
kittens! There are five this year, each one cuter than the last, and
all very curious about the onset of visitors to the farm.
For grown-ups, be sure to check out the many fall and Halloween
themed decorations for sale. From indoor centerpieces to
knick-knacks, to outdoor wreaths and scarecrows, Gail’s has a large
offering of seasonal décor.
Be sure to commemorate the day with a Gail’s Pumpkin Patch Tee
shirt, and while you’re there already, check out the selection of
Halloween costumes for kids, as well as coloring books and other
neat kid’s items.
Gail and David are excited about the new season at the patch and
looking forward to seeing lots of old friends return for fun and
games, and are also hopeful that there will be new people who will
discover and enjoy the patch for the very first time.
The Patch is also planning a fall farm day again this season. That
will be held on September 10th. Gail said they will offer extra
activities for kids, will have food, and for the first time, this
year they will offer live music. Nuthatch Hill will have lunch
available and there are plenty of picnic tables for families to grab
a good meal, sit and relax, then take advantage of some of the
ready-made foods in the retail store for dessert.
The live music will be Jeff Cordes from Lincoln. Gail said they
heard Jeff perform at the Mill on Route 66 and really liked his
music, so they asked him to come out for their special day, and were
excited when he said yes.
All in all, the patch is going to be a great place for a family get
away. With this being Labor Day weekend, it would be a good time to
visit the patch, enjoy the many aspects of it, and then plan a
return visit on the 10th.
Gail’s Pumpkin Patch is located just nine miles from Lincoln north
of Illinois Route 10 between Lincoln and Clinton at 1709 2000th
Avenue, Beason, IL. The patch will be open seven days a week for the
next two months. Hours will be noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday through
Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. For more information
call 217-447-3409, visit on the web www.gails pumpkinpatch.com or
email at gail@gails pumpkinpatch.com.